Summit QB Cade Sparks (Photo via Twitter)
Quarterback Cade Sparks has come into his own while leading Summit High School during an undefeated football season after the first eight games on the schedule.
Sparks has thrown for over 1,900 yards and 32 touchdowns this season with an offense loaded with talented play makers.
“He has probably made an audible on 10 of those 32 touchdown passes,” said Nick Matheny, coach of the Skyhawks. “He just remains cool, calm and collected.”
Sparks believes the chemistry between his receivers and himself are what allows for the offensive audibles be to successful.
“I attribute my confidence totally to my receivers. We have worked hours on end,” Sparks said. “I know that if I give them an audible they will make a play. All I need to do is put the ball where it needs to be.”
Sparks not only shows leadership on the field but in the classroom. He maintains a 3.9 GPA during the football season.
“I discipline myself in my studies. I am not an ‘athlete student,'” Sparks said. “My studies come first, I hold myself to a high standard. I want to be as successful as I can be in all aspects of my life.”
Summit will look to continue its winning streak when the Skyhawks play Kaiser at 7 p.m. Friday in Sunkist League action. The game will be held at A.B. Miller High School.
How efficient is too efficient?
Summit coach Nick Matheny doesn’t know and he doesn’t want to find out.
Summit’s offense was incredibly efficient in last week’s 49-28 win over Miller.
“We only ran 24 offensive plays,” Matheny said. “I don’t know if we’re prepared for this week.”
Summit hosts Alta Loma at Miller High on Friday.
While Miller was grinding out the clock on the ground, Summit was scoring quickly. Matheny said the SkyHawks scored touchdowns on all three of their first-half possessions and led 21-0 at halftime.
In the second half, Miller racked up more yards on the ground. Matheny said a big reason was that he rested several defensive players, and that led to Miller’s 28-point second half.
“It’s more of a health thing and we have guys at new positions,” Matheny said. “We have to improve, but last week, defense took two plays off then was back on the field.”
By contrast, Miller ran 61 offensive plays, 56 on the ground.
The SkyHawks need to weather the storm on the defensive line for the moment.
Three defensive linemen are out or won’t be at 100 percent. Defensive end Robert Villagomez is out with a knee strain and probably will miss this week, as well. Defensive tackle Ramon Licea has been out with a concussion and is now getting cleared to come back, but won’t be available this week. And defensive tackle/nose guard Raul Diaz has an ankle injury that leaves him questionable.
If all goes well, they should be healthy in a couple of weeks, and then they’ll get even more help.
Senior defensive tackle Juan Luna, who broke his arm last year in Week 5 against Temecula Great Oak, wasn’t expected to play this year. But Matheny said Luna returned to the team after convincing his parents to let him play.
Luna has not had the required 10 days of practice first, so he likely wouldn’t play until Week 5 against Riverside Norte Vista, at the earliest.
It was a tough game for Fontana players. Many of them had been fired up for Friday’s game ever since former coach Nick Matheny left his alma mater to coach at Sunkist League and city rival Summit.
Fontana was 1-7 entering the game but played Kaiser and Grand Terrace close (both eight-point losses, and the Grand Terrace game went to overtime). They were highly motivated. Perhaps to show their former coach they were OK without him. Perhaps to show he should’ve stuck around.
In a season they had already been eliminated from playoff contention, this would’ve made their season. It had all the buildup and Summit provided an early knockout punch.
But as far as I could tell, Fontana was all class. Several players came up to Matheny afterward to congratulate him. He hugged a few Fontana players and staff members. In the video above, he appreciated their class. I did not see an abundance of penalties. I had Fontana wwith four penalties, totaling 46 yards. (I had Summit with 9 for 65). There was at least one set of offsetting unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, but other than that it was class. That’s a testament to the Fontana kids, and probably coach David Crump.
Summit, actually was the one that got a trash-talking 15-yard penalty before the opening kickoff, but not Fontana. That’s not a criticism of Summit, but rather praise for Fontana for not retaliating.
The above video has Summit coach Nick Matheny talking about how tough it was to play Fontana and the Steelers’ class.